Narrow escape prompts A83 crossing petition

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By Mark Davey

A Campbeltown man has started a petition for the A83’s first proper crossing after he, his fiancée and a toddler were nearly run down.

Andrew Charles McPhillips began the online petition last Friday after the incident at the start of Aqualibrium Avenue.

He handed a paper version to shops this week after his close call on the anti-slip beige surfaced tarmac near the Co-op.

Mr McPhillips said: ‘Leaving the Co-op, myself and my fiancée Jane Boyd, with her pal’s 18-month-old toddler in a pushchair, were attempting to cross the road at the crossing just below the shop.

‘There was no oncoming traffic at the time. I was nearly across and Jane and the child were halfway, when at exactly 4.10pm a blue car came speeding down the road.

‘I think the driver had clearly seen us and just missed me by an inch. It left me very shaken and frightened and shocked Jane.

‘The driver of the car did not make any effort to stop.

‘Jane and I saw a parked police car and reported the incident only to get told to find a safer crossing and that pedestrians don’t have right of way on these marked strips.

‘How far must a pedestrian walk from the Co-op to find a safe place to cross the road?

‘I was within an inch of my life on that evening.

‘Are the powers that be waiting till someone gets injured or even killed on this crossing before something is done about it? It really beggars belief.’

Campbeltown Community Council has campaigned, with no success, for many years for safe crossings on the A83 through Campbeltown.

As Aqualibrium Avenue and Kinloch Road are part of the A83 trunk road which runs to the ferry terminal, they are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and not Argyll and Bute Council.

After the petition was raised, Campbeltown Community Council posted the following on its social media page: ‘It has come to our attention that an online petition has been created to put in place safety measures at these crossing places.

‘The community council has been campaigning for safety measures for some time.

‘Alan Baker, chairman of Campbeltown Community Council, Councillor Donald Kelly and Andy Hemmings of Kintyre Crime Prevention Panel met with a representative of Transport Scotland to discuss the ‘suggested crossing places’ at the Co-operative and Royal Hotel, which the members of the community council consider to be unsafe.

‘They were told there have been no accidents or near misses reported to Transport Scotland, the police or any of our councillors.

‘However Transport Scotland did suggest removing these road markings and putting in place a proper crossing near the Aqualibrium.

‘If you or anyone you know has been involved in a near miss, please report it to the police.’

Jane Boyd and Andrew McPhillips with the petition on Monday afternoon.  25_c26crossing01_Jane_Boyd_Andrew_McPhillips